According to a recent study, a low-calorie combination that is as sweet as table sugar and nourishes “healthy” gut microorganisms in lab studies has been identified.
The work was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Artificial sweeteners have grown in popularity because they allow individuals to enjoy sweets without eating calories. Despite being regarded to be safe for human consumption, research on both people and animals reveals that some of them may stimulate hunger, resulting in increased food intake and weight gain, as well as other negative health impacts.
Scientists On Gut
As a result, scientists have been looking into low-calorie or extraordinarily sweet substances derived from natural sources as potential replacements. Galactooligosaccharides, for instance, are low-calorie sugars with a prebiotic activity that can serve as a source of energy for advantageous gut microbes, but they aren’t quite sweet enough to replace table sugar. They are found in mammalian milk.
As an alternative, mogrosides, which are 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, are found in extracts from the Luo Han Guo fruit. However, these extracts occasionally have unpleasant flavours that enzymes can eliminate. F. Javier Moreno and colleagues used enzymes to modify mogrosides while simultaneously producing galactooligosaccharides for a novel low-calorie sweetener in order to benefit from the best features of both natural substances.
The researchers began with lactose and mogroside V. (the primary mogroside in Luo Han Guo fruit). Before adding b-galactosidase enzymes, the researchers’ mixture consisted predominantly galactooligosaccharides and a limited amount of modified mogrosides. A trained sensory panel described the novel mixture as having a sweetness similar to sucrose (table sugar), suggesting that consumers would find it palatable.
A trained sensory panel described the novel mixture as having a sweetness similar to sucrose (table sugar), suggesting that consumers would find it palatable. In test tube trials, the novel sweetener enhanced levels of numerous beneficial human gut microorganisms, including the bacterial species Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
Furthermore, based on increases in bacteria-produced metabolites such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate, the combination may have a prebiotic effect on the gut flora. According to the researchers, the novel sweetener seems promising, and their next step will be to extensively investigate the substance’s impact on human gut health.